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Years ago, 21 to be exact, I lived in Denmark for 18 months. While there I met a lovely American lady, Irene Vitelis, married to a Greek man, and who like me had recently had a baby. She was originally from Texas, spoke no Danish and had followed her husband to Copenhagen for his job. I was in a similar situation and we became good friends. Unfortunately as often happens with expats who move frequently, we lost touch after I left Denmark and moved to Los Angeles. However Irene will not be forgotten. She made a delicious apple cake which she called her Bavarian Apple Tart, it was delicious. A shortbread like base with a cheesecake filling and apple topping. Everyone loved this cake and Irene was often asked to make it. When I left Denmark, she gave me the recipe, hand written on a lined A4 piece of paper, and for years I did not make it as I was sure it would never be as tasty as hers. Recently, I was organizing all my thousands of recipes and came across Irene’s original hand written copy. What perfect timing! We are in full apple season. I had to do some research and experimentation as my local Intermarché does not sell Philadelphia cream cheese but if you live in France and want to make this delicious tart, fear not, I have discovered that St Moret or Kiri are an excellent substitute.

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Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

CRUST:
1/2 cup butter softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour

FILLING:
8 oz / 250 g cream cheese (Philadelphia or St Moret)
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice

TOPPING:
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups tart, peeled, sliced apples (I use Granny Smith)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 230 C / 450 F
Butter and flour a 23 cm / 9 inch springform pan
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Stir in the vanilla
Blend in flour
Mixture will be slightly crumbly
Press pastry into the bottom and sides of your pan
Combine cream cheese and sugar
Add egg and lemon juice and mix well
Spread evenly over pastry
Combine apples, sugar and cinnamon, tossing lightly
Arrange over the cream cheese mixture
Sprinkle with almonds
Bake for  10 minutes
Reduce heat to 200 C / 400 F
Bake an additional 25 minutes
Cool for 5 minutes
Run knife around rim and remove pan completely
Eat warm with ice cream or whipped cream
Enjoy!

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